I'm home from Europe, WDSTL

Sean Blanda (right) and I on Oct. 1, leaving from Newark Airport to begin our trip in London.

Sean Blanda (right) and I on Oct. 1, leaving from Newark Airport to begin our trip in London.

I returned this past week from more than a month of backpacking Europe with college buddy Sean Blanda. While there, he and I travel blogged and podcasted at WeDontSpeaktheLanguage.com.

This week I am going to roll out some highlights and lessons learned, though Sean beat me to the latter.

One of those lessons, I’m afraid, will involve being hacked, as we were just that. (Check WDSTL, we may not have corrected by the time you read this).

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One year ago: part of a panel discussion on high school newspapers

Mike Levin speaks on a panel about young reporters, with Dorothy Gilliam moderating, and Acel Moore, me, and Prime Mover participants looking on at fall 2007 JEA conference.

On Nov. 9 2007, one year ago today, after founding and leading a student newspaper at the Franklin Learning Center for a school year and a half, I was asked to present and take part in a panel discussion on youth journalism at the Journalism Education Association conference held at the Marriot in Center City, Philadelphia Nov. 8-11.

The panel was called “Building Journalism Programs Outside the Curriculum.” See the program here [PDF].

Among others, I was proud to speak alongside Pulitzer-Prize winner Acel Moore, among the journalists I most respect, and Philadelphia Inquirer photographer Mike Levin.

I mostly focused on the challenges I faced, contrasted with the effect it had on the small stable of loyal participants I found.

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Congratulations, President Obama

It will be an event I will tell my children about. John McCain wasn’t running as John McCain.

Unfairly, unjustly untruly or not, it seemed the media – particularly in Europe, from my experience – wanted Barack Obama in the office.

He has been anointed as part of a great achievement of American freedom. As a supporter of the U.S. president, I hope he can do it. But he has to exceed the level of excitement around him that prompted one supporter to tell a CNN TV camera: “you hear about people seeing Ghandi and Martin Luther King…”

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Journalists are victors of the moment

Perhaps more than any other profession, journalists live in moments, that hour’s story, that day’s deadline.

Zack Stalberg was made a legend for his Frank Rizzo moment. As a 2001 Philadelphia Weekly profile suggested:

Within two years the night rewrite kid is a City Hall reporter covering Frank Rizzo at a time when Rizzo was, as Stalberg recalls, “unstoppable … He was going to be governor and his image was untarnished and then–boom!” Boom, of course, was Stalberg himself, who persuaded the mayor to take a lie detector test to resolve a political dispute. Rizzo, as the whole city knows, failed the test in grand fashion, and Stalberg, as the whole city also knows, became someone who would make a name for himself. [Source]

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Halloween

Earlier this year I posted a column I wrote for The Temple News, the college newspaper for which I worked while still an undergraduate at Temple University, about ghosts on its Main Campus. It was popular then, so why not now, just one short year later?

Temple has been built on the backs of the dead. It’s late October, and we think about the old, the hidden and the dead. Temple University has its ghosts, indeed.

This is its beginning. Read the piece in its entirety or see other writing of mine here.

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Philadelphia foods: The ones you know and those you don't

Philadelphia regional foods packed for overnight shipping by Taste of Philadelphia are displayed in Folcroft, Pa., near Philadelphia, Tuesday, Pa., March 13, 2007. Americans transplanted from their hometowns are scouring the World Wide Web to find the comfort food they crave _ and it's created a cottage industry for entrepreneurs willing to deliver across state lines (AP Photo by Matt Rourke).

I was back in Philadelphia last month before leaving for Europe and inspired me to write a handful of posts, from my humble suggestions for the Philadelphia Inquirer to some lessons from an internship with the Philadelphia Business Journal – and the 10 Philadelphia books you have to read.

Here’s another, my missing the delicious food specialties of the original first city of America,

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Why Can't Us?: I'm on the Phillies bandwagon

Why Cant Us?

Why Can't Us?

Tonight is game three of the American baseball World Series. The Philadelphia Phillies are tied with the Tampa Bay Rays one game to one in the best of seven game series.

But out of these playoffs, a rallying cry has been born. Too bad some are embarrassed by it.

It began as a caller’s remark just last Thursday.

In short order, a local sports blog and one of the nation’s leading sports blogs began singing its praises as a Phillies rally cry.

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